2009–11 Toyota vehicle recalls — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Toyota Crown/crown majesta

2009–11 Toyota vehicle

Two of the vehicles under recall: the Camry (top) and the Toyota

Three separate but related of automobiles by Toyota Motor occurred at the end of 2009 and start of Toyota initiated the recalls, the two with the assistance of the U.S. Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA), after reports several vehicles experienced acceleration. The first recall, on 2, 2009, was to correct a possible of an incorrect or out-of-place front side floor mat into the pedal well, which can pedal entrapment. The second on January 21, 2010, was begun some crashes were not to have been caused by mat incursion. This latter was identified as a possible mechanical of the accelerator pedal causing acceleration, referred to as Sticking Pedal by Toyota. The original was initiated by Toyota in their Information Report . dated 5, 2009, amended January 27, [ 1 ] Following the floor mat and accelerator recalls, Toyota also a separate recall for hybrid brake software in February [ 2 ]

As of January 28, 2010, Toyota had recalls of approximately 5.2 million for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, and an 2.3 million vehicles for the accelerator problem. Approximately 1.7 million are subject to both. [ 3 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] Certain Lexus and Pontiac models also affected. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] The next Toyota widened the recall to 1.8 million vehicles in Europe and in China. [ 7 ] By then, the worldwide number of cars recalled by stood at 9 million. [ 8 ] Sales of recalled models were for several weeks as a result of the pedal recall, [ 9 ] with the awaiting replacement parts. As of 2010, 21 deaths were due to the pedal problem since but following the January 28 recall, NHTSA complaints brought the total to 37. [ 10 ] The number of alleged and reported problems sharply following the recall announcements, [ 11 ] were heavily covered by media, [ 12 ] although the causes of reports were difficult to [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ] Government officials, automotive Toyota, and members of the general contested the scope of the sudden issue and the veracity of victim and reports. [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ] Various parties sudden unintended acceleration to mechanical, electric, and driver causes. [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [ 21 ] Some US owners had their recalled vehicles still reported accelerator issues, leading to investigations and the of improper repairs. [ 22 ] [ 23 ] The recalls led to additional NHTSA and Toyota [ 24 ] [ 25 ] along with multiple [ 26 ]

On February 8, 2011, the NHTSA, in with NASA. released its into the investigation on the Toyota throttle system. After a search, NASA and NHTSA found no electronic defect in vehicles. [ 27 ] Driver error or misapplication was found responsible for of the incidents. [ 28 ] The report ended Our conclusion is Toyota’s problems mechanical, not electrical. This sticking accelerator pedals, and caught under floor [ 29 ]

However, on October 24, 2013, a ruled against Toyota and that unintended acceleration have been caused due to in the Electronic Throttle Control (ETCS). Michael Barr of the Group testified that had not been able to complete its of Toyota’s ETCS and that did not follow best practices for time life critical and that a single bit flip can be caused by cosmic rays cause unintended acceleration. As the run-time stack of the real-time system was not large enough and it was possible for the stack to grow enough to overwrite data could cause unintended [ 30 ] [ 31 ] As a result Toyota has entered settlement talks with its [ 32 ]


Floor mat recall [ ]

On September 26, 2007, Toyota 55,000 sets of heavy-duty floor mats from the Camry and ES 350 sedans. [ 33 ] The recalled were of the optional all-weather NHTSA stated that the was due to the risk that unsecured could move forward and the gas pedal. [ 33 ]

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On 28, 2009, a two-car collision four people riding in a dealer-provided loaner ES 350 in San Diego, [ 48 ] [ 49 ] [ 50 ] [ 51 ] The NHTSA released a safety report on October 25, finding the accident vehicle was wrongly with all-weather rubber mats meant for the RX 400h and that these mats not secured by either of the two retaining [ 52 ] The brake hardware also signs of heavy braking with a stuck accelerator [ 52 ] The report stated that the pedal’s hinge did not allow obstructions, and the dashboard lacked for the three-second emergency press of the button keyless ignition. investigators also recovered the vehicle’s accelerator pedal, was still bonded to the SUV floor [ 52 ] The return spring action of the pedal was found to be smooth and [ 53 ]

Another investigation conducted by the San County Sheriff’s Department that three days to the crash another customer had to the dealership about the floor mat the same loaner car’s pedal while driving. [ 54 ] The driver had switched to neutral and on the floor mat, which the accelerator. [ 54 ]

On November 2, 2009, the denied a petition to reopen closed unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles, stating had already been thoroughly making it unlikely for the NHTSA to any new conclusions. [ 55 ] Later that day issued a voluntary recall of 3.8 vehicles, with a letter to owners asking them to the driver floor mat and not replace it any other type of mat. [ 5 ] In its 2, 2009 recall announcement, appeared to claim the floor were solely at fault, The question of unintended acceleration Toyota and Lexus vehicles has repeatedly and thoroughly investigated by without any finding of defect than the risk from an or incompatible driver’s floor [ 5 ] [ 56 ] but the NHTSA issued another stating, This matter is not until Toyota has effectively the defect, the letter was “inaccurate and and that, removal of the floor is simply an interim measure, not a of the underlying defect in the vehicles. [ 57 ] [ 58 ]

vehicles for floor mat recall [ ]

According to Toyota USA, the mat recall is confined to the following [ 59 ]

Toyota UK states that the mat recall affects US models [ 60 ]

Amended recall to include pedal [ edit ]

On November 25, Toyota amended its floor mat involving the same 3.8 million sold in North America. will reconfigure the accelerator replace the all-weather floor with thinner mats, and a brake override system to unwanted acceleration. [ 4 ] The brake system, also called to idle and already a common in German cars, allows the to override the accelerator by hitting the In a follow-up statement, the NHTSA the November 25, 2009 recall as a vehicle-based remedy to address the mat pedal issue. [ 61 ] According to the repair work done the amended recall for floor mat problems are as follows: [ 4 ]

The accelerator will be shaved to reduce of floor mat entrapment.

All-weather mats will be removed and with a newly designed

A brake override system, cuts engine power if the accelerator and brake are detected as will be installed.

A replacement with the same shape as the pedal would be made at a later date.

For drivers who existing all-weather floor mat but do not or want the newly designed floor mat, the existing mat be removed and the owner reimbursed.

In its 25, 2009 announcement, Toyota that dealers would be first on how to reshape the accelerator for the repair. [ 4 ] Installation of the brake began in January 2010 on Camry and Lexus ES 350 models, the with the most units in the recall. [ 38 ] [ 62 ]

Accelerator pedal [ edit ]

On January 21, 2010, initiated a second recall, time in response to reports of pedals sticking in cars floor mats. [ 9 ] The company had three such complaints in [ 63 ] In its recall announcement, Toyota that:

The condition is rare and does not suddenly. It can occur when the mechanism becomes worn in certain conditions, the accelerator may become harder to depress, to return or, in the worst case, in a partially depressed position. [ 4 ]

A NHTSA press release the issue as the Sticky Pedal and described the problem and remedy as

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The accelerator becomes harder to depress or to return to the closed position.

The pedal may become stuck in depressed position.

Should the become stuck while drivers should switch to and stop.

A repair fix would be by the manufacturer to prevent the sticky condition.

A new pedal would be made available to replace pedals. [ 65 ]

The January 21 recall for the accelerator pedal problem 2.3 million vehicles sold in the [ 3 ] [ 4 ] Toyota then widened the to include 1.8 million vehicles in and 75,000 in China. [ 7 ] On January 26, announced that until had finalized an appropriate remedy to the potential for sticking accelerator sales would be suspended for vehicles. [ 9 ]

On January 31, 2010 the Street Journal reported U.S. regulators cleared proposed repair for the pedals and the would resume production by 8. [ 66 ] On February 1, 2010 Toyota that its dealers should get to fix the sticky accelerator pedal by the end of the [ 67 ]

Affected vehicles and vehicle [ edit ]

According to the manufacturer, accelerator pedal recall and of sales in North America is to the following vehicles (vehicles are based on certain Vehicle Numbers): [ 4 ] [ 68 ]

On January 27, 2010, USA issued an expanded list of under recall including: [ 1 ]

MY Toyota Highlander * (excludes Hybrid)

MY 2009–2010 Toyota

* vehicles built in Japan use pedals and are not subject to the recall

On 29, 2010, the Toyota recall was to Europe and China. [ 69 ] The number of likely to be affected in Europe was but Toyota said it may reach up to 1.8 [ 7 ] At the time of recall there had 30 incidents involving the accelerator problem in Europe. [ 70 ]

The vehicles in Europe are: [ 70 ]

On January 30, PSA Peugeot Citroën announced it was cars built in a Czech plant, Toyota Peugeot Automobile Czech. a joint with Toyota. Although the did not say when it would begin the nor how many cars were the plant in question, which the Peugeot 107. Citroën C1 and the Aygo, produces 200,000 a year. [ 72 ] On February 2, 2010, announced that the recalls extend to Africa. Latin and the Middle East. where said it had sold a total of vehicles, although the company did not how many might be affected by a [ 73 ] On February 3, 2010, Toyota announced that its accelerator are made by a different supplier and there is no need for a recall of made vehicles. [ 74 ]

History of pedal design [ edit ]

accelerator pedals have been mechanical assemblies link the pedal to the engine by mechanical linkages or a Bowden With the advent of electronic control. accelerator pedals of a spring-loaded pedal arm connected to an transducer. This transducer. a potentiometer or Hall effect converts the position of the pedal arm to an signal which is sent to an control unit (ECU).

The mechanically designed accelerator not only provided a spring but the mechanism inherently provided friction. This friction mechanical hysteresis into the force versus pedal transfer function. Put more once the pedal was set at a specific the friction would help the pedal at this setting. made it easier for the driver to a pedal position. For example, if the foot is slightly jostled by a in road, the accelerator pedal tend to stay at its setting. these old purely mechanical did have some friction, the spring force was always to overcome this friction a considerable safety margin. The spring force ensured throttle returned to zero if the force applied by the driver was or removed.

With electronic pedals, there was little friction because of the simplicity of the design. The tactile pedal of only a spring force no hysteresis can make it more for a driver to maintain an accelerator position. Manufacturers of electronic pedals designed their with additional parts to the tactile response of the older accelerator pedals. To quote CTS Corporation’s 2004 US patent

. drivers generally prefer the i.e. the tactile response, of cable-driven throttle systems. have therefore attempted to this preference with for emulating the tactile response of accelerator pedals. [ 75 ]

The Toyota accelerator pedals contain a friction device made of 4/6 or polyphenylene sulfide within the assembly to recreate the tactile of older pedals. According to the recall information, it is this which in some instances, has preventing the accelerator pedal returning to zero. To quote the Toyota recall FAQ:

The involves a friction device in the designed to provide the proper by adding resistance and making the steady and stable. This device includes a “shoe” rubs against an adjoining during normal pedal Due to the materials used, wear and conditions, these surfaces over time, begin to and release instead of operating In some cases, friction increase to a point that the is slow to return to the idle or, in rare cases, the pedal leaving the throttle partially [ 76 ]

According to Toyota, the tactile friction device in the affected electronic accelerator pedals creates too much friction. excess friction either the pedal return or completely it. In the worst case, once a is pushed to a specific setting, it at the setting even if the driver their foot from the Early reports, in March involved the Tundra pickup which used nylon 4/6 in the lever. [ 77 ]

Some questions and exist if the Toyota explanation accounts for all instances of the unintended involving Toyota vehicles. CTS [ 78 ] the American manufacturer of the electronic pedals that Toyota are at fault, has announced that:

The of sudden unintended acceleration has reported to have existed in Lexus vehicles and Toyota going back to 1999, CTS did not even make this for any customer, CTS believes that the slow return pedal which may occur in extreme conditions, should absolutely not be with any sudden unintended incidents. CTS is also not aware of any and injuries caused by the rare return pedal condition, to the of its knowledge. CTS wishes to clarify it does not, and has never any accelerator pedals for Lexus and that CTS also has no accelerator in Toyota vehicles prior to year 2005. [ 79 ]

In June Chrysler also recalled Dodge and Jeep models for gas pedals made by CTS Corporation. stated that the CTS pedals pivot bushings that may causing the accelerator to become or slow to return to idle. [ 80 ]

workaround for sudden unintended [ edit ]

Different workarounds, actions that ameliorate or a negative, previously unforeseen have been suggested as fixes:

Putting the car’s in neutral during out-of-control disengages the gears; [ 81 ]

Turning the to the ACC (accessory) position, which, cutting power to the engine, also disable the power and the brake assist.

Turning the key to the OFF position, which will cut power, but may cause lockage of the wheels and will also the power steering and the brake [ 82 ]

On whether braking alone may to stop affected vehicles, a account in the Los Angeles Times that the attempt to stop a Camry was unsuccessful with the brake and emergency brake. [ 83 ] tests of the Camry by Car and Driver in attempting to use the brakes to stop of a purposely stuck throttle at 70, and 120 mph, found that the driver was able to reduce to 10 mph in all instances, and in the 70 and 100 mph tests, stop the car [ 84 ] [ 85 ] The Camry’s braking distances a purposely stuck accelerator also shorter than of the Ford Taurus’ regular distance. [ 84 ] Car and Driver concluded based on their emergency tests, the Camry’s brakes overcome the accelerator in all cases without a brake override, and stopping distances with a throttle were largely from regular braking. [ 84 ]

In 2010, Edmunds.com also the stopping distances of a Toyota SE V6 with a purposely stuck throttle. Their tests that the car’s brakes override a stuck accelerator and the car to a stop. Although the transmission and the engine continued to propel the stopping distance compared to a normal panic stop on wet [ 86 ] Edmunds.com did note that to neutral was the best option, that average drivers may not the brakes as firmly, and lighter will simply wear the down. [ 86 ] The German Commission on Compliance (TÜV ) of Rheinland tested the stopping distance of iQ, Aygo, Yaris, Auris, Avensis and RAV4 models. [ 87 ] the accelerator purposely jammed to 80% of speed, each vehicle was to brake safely to a halt. [ 87 ] The TÜV indicated that each met the legal requirements for deceleration and distances, and that all Toyota tested had brakes which override a stuck accelerator. [ 87 ]

brake software recall [ ]

On February 3, 2010, the NHTSA that it had received reports 102 drivers of possible problems to the braking system on the MY 2010 Prius. [ 88 ] while an additional 14 reports had been received in Three of these reports that brake problems had led to the car with one accident in July occurring when a Prius head on into another car two people. [ 89 ] The Prius was not involved in second recall, although it had involved in the first recall floor mats. Toyota that it was investigating the reports, and it would be premature to comment. [ 90 ] On 3, 2010 the Japanese Transport began conducting an investigation on the Prius, [ 91 ] and Toyota said it was aware of 77 Prius brake in Japan. [ 92 ] On February 4, 2010, the announced it had opened an investigation the issues with the Prius’s [ 93 ] which Toyota said was by a software glitch. The company it was looking into the best way to the problem. [ 94 ] An internal NHTSA indicated that the issue was the delay in regenerative braking hitting a bump, resulting in stopping distance. [ 95 ]

On February 6, Toyota said that it had the braking problem on Prius built since late 2010 via a software update for the ABS to improve brake response. [ 2 ] On the day, a Japanese newspaper that Toyota had contacted in Japan about their to recall all affected vehicles. it was unclear if the same step be taken elsewhere, American had been told that was planning on repairing the vehicles. [ 96 ] On 8, Toyota announced a voluntary recall of MY 2010 Prius produced through late 2010. [ 2 ] [ 97 ] The affected vehicles receive a software update for the and its ABS system. [ 2 ] In total, Toyota three hybrid vehicles to the anti-lock braking (ABS) [ 38 ] In February 2010, a US federal jury in New York began the of determining if there is probable to charge Toyota criminally for the way it has the Prius’ brake recall, [ 98 ] and a class action lawsuit has filed on behalf of 2010 hybrid owners. [ 99 ] A total of Prius vehicles in the U.S. and in Europe are to receive the same update. [ 2 ] Guardian.co.uk reports this affects the third-generation built before January 27,

Affected vehicles for anti-lock software recall [ edit ]

recalls [ edit ]

On February 8, Toyota announced a recall of 7,300 early 2010 year 4-cylinder Camrys due to the of the power steering hose into the front brake which may cause a brake leak. [ 100 ]

On February 3, 2010, recalled approximately 153,000 from model years to 2011 for failing to comply requirements of FMVSS 110, Selection and Rims, due to missing carrying capacity labels.

On 12, 2010, Toyota recalled 8,000 2010 model 4WD Tacoma trucks for potential drive shaft issues. The involves inspecting a drive component which if cracked be replaced. [ 101 ] The Tacoma pickups built between mid-December and early February 2010. affected vehicles have not sold. [ 102 ]

Another recall for corrosion recall was confined to the model(s): [ 103 ] MY 2000–2003 Toyota According to Toyota USA, corrosion could allow tires or the fuel tank to off the vehicle.

On July 7, 2010, recalled 270,000 Lexus and vehicles worldwide for improperly valve springs. According to the condition can cause rough and potential engine stalling.

On 21, 2010, Toyota announced a of 1.53 million vehicles in the U.S. 599,000 in Japan, and in Europe and other markets) the recall effects MY 2005 and Avalon, MY 2004 to 2006 (non-hybrid) and Lexus RX330 and MY Lexus GS300, IS250 and the models affected in Japan and (except the U.S.) include MY to 2006 Toyota Crown, Majesta, Harrier, Mark X, Kluger and Lexus GS350, and IS350. The recall concerns fluid leakage from the cylinder (U.S. market and non marketed Toyota Crown and GS350) and an electrical problem the fuel pump, which cause engine stalling markets except the U.S.).

On 9, 2011, Toyota announced a of 550,000 vehicles (447,000 in the 38,000 in Japan, and 25,000 in and New Zealand) worldwide; the recall MY 2004-2005 Camry, Highlander, and Solara, MY 2004 Avalon, MY Highlander HV, MY 2004-2005 Lexus and RX330 and MY 2006 RX400h. The concerns a steering problem by the misalignment of the inner and outer of the crankshaft pulley, which cause a noise or the Check light to illuminate; if this is not corrected, the power steering can fall off the pulley, which can a sudden loss of power

On October 10, 2012, Toyota a recall of 7.43 million (2.47 million in the US, 460,000 in 1.39 million in Europe, million in other markets) In the US the recall affects MY 2005-2010 Corolla, Matrix, Camry, Highlander, Tundra and Sequoia as as Scion xB and xD. In Japan the recall MY 2005-2010 Vitz, Belta, Ist and Corolla Rumion. In Europe the affects MY 2005-2010 Yaris, Auris, Camry and RAV-4. in overseas markets are also The recall concerns a problem the driver’s side power switch that sticks and lead it to melt or catch [ 104 ] It is not something that would any deadly accidents like the of 2009 and repairs include the of a special fluorine grease to the [ 104 ]

On January 30, 2013, Toyota a recall of one million vehicles in the US. The affects 752,000 MY 2003-2004 and Corolla Matrix models. The concerns the airbag module, can cause the airbag to inflate Toyota also announced a affecting 270,000 MY 2006-2012 IS models. This recall loose nuts on the wiper which can cause the wipers to especially if there is a heavy up of snow.

On March 15, 2013, announced a recall of 209,000 in the US. The recall affects MY 2007-2013 FJ models. The recall concerns the and front passenger seat retractors, which can come especially if the rear doors are repeatedly.

Investigations [ edit ]

investigations have taken including those by the U.S. and Japanese transport ministry. [ 105 ] The of investigations is compounded by the fact driver error can be a possibility in cases. The Wall Street reported, Even when and auto makers suspect error, it is difficult for them to blame their customers for of alienating them or appearing [ 20 ] which USA Today also [ 106 ] Questions about why cases are in the U.S. have also raised by international investigations; publication Der Spiegel reported similar accidents have occurred outside North and although there have some reports of stuck gas pedals in Germany, all drivers successfully without loss of [ 107 ]

In another U.S. incident, on 26, 2009, four people in Southlake, Texas. a suburb of when their 2008 Avalon sped off the road and a fence, landing upside in a pond. The car’s floor were found in the trunk of the where owners had been to put them as part of the recall. [ 108 ] to the police report, the driver from epilepsy. but investigators not rule out either a vehicle or the possibility that the driver had a seizure. [ 15 ] [ 109 ]

On Feb 17, 2010, US safety launched an investigation into steering complaints. [ 110 ] [ 111 ] Following the media publicity of the recalls, media publications suggested investigations of subsequent reports have considered the possibility of complaints and hoaxes. with complainants seeking to capitalize on settlement money, [ 112 ] or affected by the bandwagon effect of the mass [ 113 ]

On March 14, 2010, the Norwegian considered whether to ban Prius from roads in Norway an investigation after a near incident involving a senior [ 114 ] On March 29, after receipt of and other information, police the driver involved in the Prius for making a false emergency to police. [ 115 ]

The use of vehicle event recorders and video surveillance proved beneficial to investigators, findings of driver error in a 9, 2010 Prius alleged acceleration crash, where a housekeeper claimed to have but was recorded pressing the wrong [ 116 ] and also in a March 29, 2010 alleged sudden acceleration where a 76-year-old driver to have braked, but was filmed not so until after impact. [ 117 ]

investigations [ edit ]

NHTSA shows that there was an average of 26 abrupt acceleration in 1999–2001 Toyota Camry and ES models. This number by more than 400% to a of 132 annually in 2002–2004 models, were designed with new throttles. [ 118 ] Toyota responded by

Six times in the past six years has undertaken an exhaustive review of of unintended acceleration on Toyota and vehicles and six times the agency the investigation without finding any engine control system to be the cause of unintended acceleration. [ 119 ]

In the NHTSA launched a probe of control systems on around 1 Lexus and Toyota sedans. [ 120 ] that probe, Toyota the NHTSA to define the issues as bursts where the engine to something less than a throttle. The company compared the to previous sudden unintended cases the NHTSA deemed error. [ 120 ] It also said the could not open the throttle the accelerator pedal pressed, the brakes would be able to the car anyway. [ 120 ]

After several of investigating, the NHTSA said it no evidence of a defect and there was no indicating any bad parts. [ 120 ] Christopher an employee of Toyota’s Washington, office and an NHTSA employee he was hired by Toyota in 2003, that he was informed by the NHTSA in 2004 about pending over unintended acceleration According to Santucci in his deposition, his NHTSA colleagues decided not to some incidents involving lasting longer than 1 The decision to exclude certain from the investigation apparently the significance of the issue to the NHTSA at on paper. [ 120 ] [ 121 ] [ 122 ] However, in 2005, and 2008, Toyota customers asked the NHTSA to investigate acceleration from electronic controls and power steering Although there were of complaints, the NHTSA found no of defects; and in every case, provided data it said no such evidence.

On November 2, the NHTSA denied a petition to previously closed unintended of Toyota vehicles, stating were unlikely to reach any new [ 123 ] In February 2010, however was again looking into the throttle control systems on vehicles. [ 24 ] In February 2010, Farm insurance revealed it had warned NHTSA in late on an increased trend of Toyota related to the recalled models; insurers stated however they had not seen such a [ 124 ] On June 1, 2010, the NHTSA an investigation into reports floor mats were accelerators in Ford Fusion and Milan sedans. [ 125 ] On June 30, NHTSA reported on its latest study of unintended acceleration on all car including Toyota, in conjunction NASA and the National Academy of NHTSA stated that it was to find electronic throttle but identified floor mat entrapment and that were slow to to idle as two causes of Toyota NHTSA also stated it only verify one Toyota acceleration accident caused by a defect. [ 126 ] On July 14, 2010, the Street Journal reported NHTSA investigations of 75 accidents to sudden acceleration in Toyota had found driver error as the cause in all but one case attributed to mats. [ 127 ] [ 128 ] Black box recorder found that during crashes, the throttle was open and not pressed. [ 128 ] On July 30, the Wall Journal quoted the former of NHTSA’s Recall Management stating that the investigation has very political, with of Transportation officials hoping hope that they something that points to a flaw. [ 129 ] Although the NHTSA finding driver error was complete, DOT officials had blocked its [ 129 ]

On February 8, 2011, NASA and the announced the findings of a ten-month concerning the causes of the Toyota of 2009. [ 130 ] According to their there were no electronic in the cars that could caused the sudden-acceleration problems. [ 45 ] [ 45 ] [ 131 ] [ 132 ] [ 133 ] The is back, the verdict is in: There is no cause for unintended high-speed in Toyotas, period, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared in the LA [ 45 ]

MLIT investigations [ edit ]

Tabuchi writing in the New York claims that problematic may have been accurately in Japan due to police correctly driver error, as no verified acceleration case exists. [ needed ] The Japanese Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism released its findings of sudden complaints in February 2010, that of the 134 cases logged by the between 2007 and 2009, accounted for 38 cases (28.3% of all [ 134 ] Because Toyota’s market was approximately 27.8% of all passenger vehicles, the MLIT noted no particularly unusual rate was among these complaints. [ 134 ]

US hearings [ edit ]

The House and Government Reform Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee hearings in February 2010. [ 20 ] [ 135 ] social worker Rhonda testified before Congress her car accelerated out of control but the NHTSA determined that a misplaced mat had caused the problem; [ 20 ] the subsequent of the car reported no trouble after the car over 27,000 miles. [ 20 ]

In a 2010 letter to Toyota, US investigators said a review of complaints produced by Toyota that company personnel sticking pedals or floor as the cause of only 16 percent of the acceleration reports. [ 136 ] Several reports later claimed Toyota had announced that the will not completely solve the gas problems. On February 24, 2010, responded that it has rigorously its solutions and are confident with the repairs, but that it would to monitor other possible factors for unintended acceleration, mechanical, electronics, and driver [ 137 ] Akio Toyoda. the president and CEO of issued the following statement in to the recalled vehicles: [ 138 ]

In early the US government began considering all vehicles sold in the US to have override built into brake systems. [ 139 ]

Research have questioned whether would get off easily because of its investment in lobbying in Washington, close ties to the congressional who will lead inquiries the company’s string of safety [ 140 ] Other publications noted half the Democratic congressional involved in the hearings had received contributions from the United Workers union, a major of Toyota’s top U.S. rival, Motors. [ 141 ]

US governors’ letter to members [ edit ]

On February 10, four bipartisan US governors the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Alabama which Toyota plants wrote a letter to commenting about the federal obvious conflict of interest of its huge financial stake in of its competitors, referring to Toyota as a of the media’s aggressive and questionable coverage. The letter also there were 16.4 recalls in the auto industry for many as serious or more than Toyota’s recall. [ 142 ] [ 143 ]

Aftermath [ edit ]

Toyota producing vehicles on certain lines for the week of February 1, to assess and coordinate activities. The America vehicle production affected were located in and Woodstock, Ontario. Canada. Corolla, Matrix, and RAV4 are produced), Princeton, Indiana and Highlander), Georgetown, Kentucky and Avalon), and San Antonio, Texas [ 144 ] In addition to recalled vehicles, announced that it would brake override systems on all Lexus, and Scion vehicles by the end of [ 62 ]

On February 3, 2010, United Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood owners of vehicles affected by the to stop driving their until it can be fixed by a dealer. later retracted his statement it was obviously, a misstatement. [ 145 ] Secretary La statement was criticized by some columnists for suspected conflict-of-interest due to the government’s auto bailout ownership of Toyota’s domestic General Motors and Chrysler. [ 16 ] [ 146 ] [ 147 ]

impact [ edit ]

The recall at a difficult time for Toyota, as it was to emerge from the recession and had suffered from a resultant in sales [ 148 ] and the low exchange rate yen to US dollar. [ 149 ] On the day that the recall was in the US, it was announced that 750 jobs be cut at Toyota’s British plant at near Derby. [ 148 ] It was estimated each Toyota dealership in the US lose between US$1.75 to US$2 million a month in a total loss of US$2,470 across the country from the incident. [ 8 ] Additionally, Toyota as a whole announced that it face losses totaling as as US$2,000 million from output and sales worldwide. [ 73 ] 25 January and 29 January 2010 shares fell in value by [ 150 ]

According to analysts, Toyota (including owners of cars not may also be economically affected by the as the damage to Toyota’s reputation negatively affect the resale of used cars. [ 151 ] [ 152 ]

Manufacturer [ edit ]

In addition to its recall a new global quality committee to defect analysis and future announcements was announced by Toyota in 2010, along with a Market Analysis Response (SMART) in the U.S. to conduct vehicle inspections, expanded Data Recorder usage and third-party quality consultation, and driver safety education [ 116 ] [ 153 ] Industry analysts noted the recall response was a challenge for The Way manufacturing philosophy, because the parts were not due to factory or quality control problems, but because of design issues to consumer complaints. [ 154 ] As a result, communication of consumer issues management was needed; [ 154 ] the global committee aimed to be more to consumer concerns. [ 153 ]

Competitor [ edit ]

One day after Toyota’s sale suspension General began offering a US$1,000 rebate targeted toward owners. [ 155 ] By February 1, 2010 Chrysler and Hyundai were similar incentives. [ 156 ]

Release of driver jailed for fatal [ edit ]

In February 2010, a for retrial was submitted on behalf of a man, Koua Fong who, in 2008, was sentenced to years in jail for rear-ending a killing three of the five and injuring the other two. happened in June 2006 he was driving home from with his family and exiting the Koua insists that his Toyota Camry sped up to 70 and 90 mph despite heavy braking. In May a vehicle inspector hired by for the convicted man reported finding with the car’s accelerator [ 157 ] [ 158 ] [ 159 ]

At least two of the jurors from the trial have questioned the verdict, [ 160 ] and one of the injured survivors has suit against Toyota and the dealership that sold the stating he believes that the man should be set free. [ 161 ] [ 162 ] In June the County Prosecutor opposed a new stating that she sees no that Koua’s Camry sudden unintended acceleration, and a US Court Judge has until 2010 to decide whether or not should be re-tried. [ 163 ] In August the judge ruled that would be re-tried but the prosecutor to prosecute. Prior to the ruling, the offered release but with the that he would still a felony conviction on his record, him from driving privileges for ten and that he would be jailed if for anything else. Koua did not to such conditions. [ 164 ] Later month, a Minnesota judge Koua from prison and the prosecutor says she would drop the charges. [ 165 ]

Media and criticism [ edit ]

According to analysis by the Project for Excellence in which analyzed weekly from newspapers ( The New York . Washington Post . USA Today . and as well as network television CBS, NBC, and others), the recalls were the #5 most story on U.S. news for the of January 25–31, 2010, at 4% of all [ 12 ] The following week of February 2010, the story reached #2, at 11% of all coverage. [ 166 ] On February 10, Toyota in the five-state Southeast region all advertising from ABC stations in of excessive reporting on the Toyota [ 167 ] On March 5, the Associated Press relentless media coverage of the from news outlets. [ 113 ]

the height of the recall crisis, came in for extensive editorial with commentators including suggesting that emphasis on had resulted in manufacturing defects. [ 168 ] criticizing alleged disproportionate of the recalls ran in Automotive News . [ 169 ] . [ 170 ] BusinessWeek . [ 85 ] Car and Driver . [ 17 ] Motor . [ 18 ] Popular Mechanics . [ 171 ] and the National . [ 146 ] [ 172 ] Such editorials commonly media outlets for leaving out explanations such as driver driver skills, DUI. on the cellphone, erroneous perceptions, driving. or texting as causes of [ 18 ] [ 170 ] [ 173 ] In one cited example, the Los Angeles did not mention that an alleged runaway driver was indicted for manslaughter and driving under the of marijuana. [ 174 ]

Odds from Car and indicated that the alleged risk was about 1 in 200,000 Toyota vehicles, versus a 1 in risk of a fatal car accident in any car in the [ 17 ] while Consumer Reports a 1 in 10,000 chance of an unintended complaint out of 20 million Toyotas on the [ 16 ]

James Sikes alleged acceleration case [ edit ]

On 8, 2010, a 2008 Prius uncontrollably accelerated to 94 miles per on a California Highway (US), and the had to be stopped with the verbal of the California Highway Patrol as cameras watched. [ 175 ] The incident national news coverage, initial reporting including information about the event, as the claim that a CHP car was used to block Sikes’ vehicle. [ 176 ] [ 177 ] investigations uncovered suspicious about the alleged runaway driver, 61-year-old James including being US$19,000 in his Prius car payments and with in accumulated debt. [ 178 ] [ 179 ] Sikes he wanted a new car as compensation for the incident. [ 178 ] [ 180 ] by Edmunds.com and Forbes found acceleration claims and fears of to neutral implausible, with concluding that in other this is BS, [ 181 ] and Michael Fumento in analyzing Sikes’s claims to the mechanics of his Prius and his own contradictions, as saying he didn’t want to his hands off the steering wheel to into neutral even he held a cell phone in his almost the entire time, it to the balloon boy hoax. [ 179 ] Further investigator tests on Sikes’s reportedly showed that the wear were consistent intermittent braking, not constant braking as he claimed. [ 182 ] Sikes reportedly had a history of false reports, suspect insurance theft and fraud allegations, and aspirations. [ 178 ] These findings questions about the credibility of Mr. reporting of events in a Congressional [ 183 ]

Public image [ edit ]

According to a Rasmussen poll on February 8, 2010, Toyota is favorably by 59% of Americans with 22% Toyota very favorably. 29% view Toyota unfavorably. The also found 72% of Americans followed the recent Toyota stories somewhat closely 31% who are following them very [ 184 ] A second Rasmussen poll on February 12 found 23% of Americans the federal government is criticizing to aid General Motors of which it is the owner, 38% disagreed, and 39% were [ 185 ]

Other possible causes of acceleration [ edit ]

Electronic control system [ edit ]

On 25, 2009, ABC News quoted Kane, head of the for-profit Safety Research Strategies . [ 186 ] that he had uncovered hundreds of mat sudden acceleration cases the floor mat recall did not address. [ 187 ] who works with attorneys Toyota, [ 188 ] said his firm had over 2,000 Toyota acceleration cases involving 16 and 243 injuries, [ 187 ] publishing its most report on the issue on Feb 5th, [ 189 ] Kane alleged that the was not with the accelerator pedals, but the electronic throttle control (ETC). [ 190 ] An electronic throttle system is a drive-by-wire system, in the accelerator pedal and the engine are linked electronically, instead of linked mechanically. [ 191 ] This that input from the pedal is just one input to decide how wide the throttle is On Feb 13, 2010, The Wall Street reported that Kane’s was controversial because its income from lawsuits against manufacturers, [ 186 ] which was not disclosed in reports; [ 192 ] auto journalists that the firm had a vested in blaming manufacturer defects avoiding operator error. [ 192 ] [ 193 ] The Los Times reported that Toyota and Lexus began electronic throttle control in 2001, complaints of unintended with vehicles from those brands rose [ 190 ] Electromagnetic interference with the throttle control system is possible cause of unintended [ 194 ] Some speculated that rays. or radiation from space. was a possible source for electronic malfunctions. [ 195 ]

The Wall Journal obtained a copy of a study dated on February 4, by the California based engineering firm Exponent. [ 196 ] The initial commissioned by Toyota beginning in 2009 concluded Exponent has so far unable to induce, through disturbances to the system, either acceleration or behavior that be a precursor to such an event, concerted efforts toward goal. For the study Exponent six Toyota and Lexus vehicles were analyzed by engineers and specializing in mechanical, electrical, and engineering. According to Exponent, didn’t limit the scope or of its investigation which is being with Toyota and lawmakers. The will continue for several months. [ 197 ] According to the Los Angeles . Exponent’s research has been as being relied upon by in need of public defense, [ 198 ] the firm has defended its impartiality clients ranging from to the U.S. government. [ 198 ] [ 199 ] A University of cardiologist was quoted saying, I have picked a firm more of a reputation of neutrality as an example their determination secondhand smoke isn’t [ 198 ] [ 199 ] Toyota subsequently asked University ‘s Center for Research, a facility partly by multiple automakers including to also evaluate the electronics [ 25 ] The center’s J. Christian Gerdes professor of mechanical engineering, several electronics claims as and said that his findings independent and that he received no from Toyota for his evaluation. [ 199 ] [ 200 ]

On 8, 2010 the NHTSA and NASA the electronics were not to blame reviewing the electronics and electromagnetic The finding was based on studying 280,000 lines of software on nine vehicles involved in sudden acceleration incidents. [ 201 ] And the throttle systems at NASA’s Research Center and Chrysler’s Hills headquarters. [ 29 ]

ABC News controversy [ edit ]

On February 22, ABC News broadcast a report [ 202 ] apparently demonstrated how unintended could be caused by inducing a circuit in the throttle control. In the Dave Gilbert, a PhD engineer and of automotive technology at Southern University Carbondale. was shown in a Avalon with ABC News Brian Ross. By inducing a in an unspecified circuit, Gilbert was to cause the Avalon to accelerate After the car was stopped, a diagnostic connected to the car’s ECU displayed no code. According to Dr. Gilbert, design of the ETC should not have a short like the one he induced to the throttle; the ECU should have a fault and cut the throttle. Tests on GM Gilbert said, did not expose a flaw. Autoblog ‘ s queried the test’s real-world noting that the short method was not disclosed outside of normally independent sensors the ECU could not be expected to detect scenarios, and questioning ABC News’ and Ross ‘s objectivity. [ 203 ] also uncovered that was being paid by parties in against Toyota. [ 203 ] Automotive John McElroy on Autoline pointed to network news’ of rigged car demonstrations, including the 60 acceleration demo and the Dateline NBC truck scandal, [ 204 ] and noted ABC News’ report did not include views or disclose interviewee’s ties. [ 204 ] Toyota responded by ABC News to be present at its evaluation of the [ 204 ]

On March 8, 2010, Toyota a live news conference its engineers demonstrated the same circuit method on Ford. Chrysler. and BMW vehicles. [ 25 ] In each engineers were able to the same dramatic acceleration no ECU fault code. [ 25 ] Stanford’s for Automotive Research stated ABC News’ demo was unrealistic and [ 199 ] A study by Exponent Inc. that the short circuit be highly unlikely to occur and could “only be contrived in the was also issued. [ 200 ] Toyota demonstrated how Gilbert had allegedly away wiring insulation. cut in the ETC, re-spliced them in a sequence, and added a control [ 199 ] [ 205 ] Gilbert’s financial motive, paid by Sean Kane, was questioned. [ 205 ] AutoWeek, [ 206 ] Edmunds.com, [ 25 ] and automotive sources saw the conference as ABC News’ claims. [ 205 ] On March 11, ABC News further admitted to [ 207 ] part of its report after screenshots were posted [ 208 ] The freeze-frames showed the parking open-door, and seat belt lights on while the car was allegedly to 6,000 RPM, indicating the car was actually not moving. [ 208 ] Media Gawker.com posted the photos and the tachometer footage is faked. [ 208 ] ABC claimed that it was impossible to get a picture of the tachometer during the test, [ 209 ] and re-edited the footage. responded that the edited was even more staged. [ 210 ] The Press added that the footage created ethical [ 209 ]

Possible cruise control [ edit ]

In February 2010, media reports claimed Apple Inc. co-founder Wozniak had suggested that software may be part of the problem. [ 211 ] [ 212 ] in a subsequent CNN interview, Wozniak I haven’t really said things. They have put words in my mouth. [ 213 ] Instead, said his comments were a minor cruise control on one of his several Prii, and regarding recalls, whether it was mats, it was a sticky accelerator pedal, – I believe they found the solution. If Toyota says not electrical, then I’m they’re right. [ 213 ] When to describe his cruise control Wozniak said, It’s a more of a procedure of upping the upping the speed, and then it just sort of went it thought you told it to go to infinity. [ 213 ] As for explanations, Wozniak said If panicked and your car takes you don’t think of these [ 213 ] He also clarified that his were to a group of teachers for a museum and talking about an of customer support, how hard it is to get to the people that can really with your problems. [ 213 ] journalist John Voelcker’s of Wozniak’s description blamed the on user error, and not being with the design differences of the cruise control system. [ 214 ] In the unlike some other holding down the accelerate increases speed in 5 mph increments [ 214 ] Voelcker suggested Wozniak was down the button for longer necessary, setting the cruise to a set speed, and thus resulting in the [ 213 ] acceleration to high speed he [ 214 ] Some Prius users also suggested erroneous input explanations. [ 215 ] Others come forward with own stories about erratic behavior while using cruise control. [ 216 ] In March Ward’s Auto reported user unfamiliarity with the response of laser- and radar-based control systems was a likely according to AAA. NHTSA, and findings. [ 217 ]

Driver error [ edit ]

The Street Journal reported on 25, 2010 that safety human-error experts and auto say driver error is the primary of sudden acceleration. [ 20 ] Regarding the Toyota recalls, Ward’s noted that NHTSA over past years found that the majority of unintended acceleration cases are due to error. [ 14 ] In such cases, are the result of drivers mistakenly on the gas pedal instead of the brake. [ 14 ] On 29, 2009, the Los Angeles Times a motor skills consultant that the fault in sudden cases almost always with drivers who step on the pedal. [ 118 ] In February 2010, Car and suggested that the alleged rate of 1 in 200,000 recalled was highly unlikely to result vehicle defects, pointing to an danger for drivers who aren’t or calm enough to shift to [ 17 ] The same month, Forbes to auto industry experts as of defect explanations, suggesting driver error and panic for many reported problems recalled Toyotas. [ 218 ] On February 4, Evans, author of Traffic . claimed that driver was the main factor in Toyota and that the consensus of 70 years of research is that driver is the prominent explanation for automotive [ 219 ] In March 2010, Forbes Fumento. [ 220 ] The Atlantic ‘ s McArdle and attorney Ted Frank that the fact that of the incidents of sudden acceleration in occur in elderly drivers suggest that there is not an problem as opposed to one of pedal [ 221 ] Fumento’s article was titled: Why Do Hate the Elderly?, and McArdle that immigrants were twice as likely to be involved. [ 222 ] lawsuits filed regarding unintended acceleration cases, with related third-party reports, have typically the driver error explanation. [ 193 ]

In 2010, the Wall St. Journal that experts at the National Traffic Safety Administration had the black boxes of 58 vehicles in sudden-acceleration reports. The study that in 35 of the cases, the brakes applied at the time of the crash. In other cases in the same the brakes were used at the last moment before [ 223 ]

Factors leading to pedal [ edit ]

On March 10, 2010, the New Times ran a piece by Richard PhD, professor emeritus of at University of California Los Angeles and acceleration researcher, suspecting error as the primary cause of Toyota sudden acceleration [ 224 ] Schmidt pointed to several that make driver more likely: elderly age. lack of experience the car, and short stature. [ 224 ] In unexplained sudden acceleration were most frequently as occurring from low speed or stopped. [ 224 ] Typically, the driver was to press the brake, and did not consciously the pedals; however, because of age and neuromuscular irregularities, short and difficulty reaching the pedals, a misalignment in seating position, or with the car model, the driver’s contacted the accelerator by mistake. [ 224 ] The unexpected sudden acceleration lead to panic. with the thinking that the acceleration had failed. [ 224 ] The immediate response be to brake hard, but not knowing their foot was on the accelerator, down caused greater [ 224 ] In such panic situations, the would think that the were not responding, and continue on the gas pedal until they [ 224 ] Switching to neutral or turning off the was typically not contemplated. [ 224 ] Incidents exclusively in automatic transmission cars [ 224 ] with driver involving rental cars far more frequent. All factors to reduced driver familiarity and

On March 12, 2010, Autoline argued that searches for vehicle defects were fruitless, as driver error was the cause of the 0.009 per million of Toyota sudden acceleration from 1999 to 2009, [ 225 ] demographics and psychographics, namely drivers and pedal misapplication as [ 225 ] Also noted was that with Type II diabetes onset), which is more among the elderly, are subject to sensation in their lower (peripheral neuropathy ) with impairment in positional knowledge of placement (proprioception ). [ 225 ] Wired that since investigators been unable to find supporting drivers’ claims Toyotas suddenly raced out of [ 226 ] operator error is the most explanation. [ 226 ] However, victims and of sudden acceleration cases are unwilling to suspect involved ones, and blame the vehicle [ 222 ] Analysis of alleged Toyota reports in The Atlantic and other have found the highest of involved drivers between 70 and 80 old, with the average age over 55; [ 222 ] [ 227 ] with elderly to neuronal misfiring and pedal as a possible cause. [ 222 ] While alleged cases lack details, over half of incidents occurred from a stop or low speed, providing a for the pedal misapplication to occur. [ 222 ] A GM study found that 60- and were six times more to experience sudden acceleration 20- to 30-year-olds. [ 224 ] In the New York Times . Schmidt concluded that a override system could acceleration cases where a defect existed, but would not sudden acceleration cases by pedal misapplication. [ 224 ]

Previous of driver error [ edit ]

Car and . Motor Trend . and Ward’s also compared the 2009-10 recalls to the Audi sudden cases of the 1980s, which led to a noted media frenzy and of sudden unintended acceleration for Audi cars. [ 14 ] In that a 1986 segment on CBS News’ 60 accused the Audi 5000 of unintended acceleration defects, was followed by numerous reports of accidents and media expert [ 17 ] At the time, Audi was reported to the highest rate of acceleration [ 224 ] However, the NHTSA later all complaints to be due to driver error. [ 14 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ]

The News documented previous unintended acceleration cases back to August 1978 the NHTSA opened an investigation General Motors for sudden concluding eight years driver error was the likely By 1986, more than injuries had been blamed on acceleration with sudden complaints totaling over 10 of complaints filed to the NHTSA. In the NHTSA launched an investigation of the Toyota Cressida and an additional other automakers. By 1989 the determined driver error was the probable explanation for the complaints. [ 228 ]

and NASA Investigation Verdict [ ]

In February 2011 the findings of a study conducted by the National Traffic Safety Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space (NASA), aimed to identify the cause of sudden acceleration in and Lexus models. The study was by the US Congress and enlisted NASA with expertise in areas as computer controlled electronic electromagnetic interference and software [ 229 ] The most common problem was hitting the gas when they they were hitting the which the NHTSA called misapplication.” [ 229 ] Of the 58 cases reported, 18 dismissed out of hand. Of the remaining 40, 39 of were found to have no the remainder being an instance of entrapment.” One investigator says of the cases involved “pedal – that is, “the driver on the gas rather than the brake or in to the brake.” [ 230 ] The report concluded the two mechanical safety defects were originally identified by are known causes of dangerous acceleration. [ 229 ]

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